Researchers are turning sick day into pay day for volunteers who will be infected with the influenza virus as part of a study on how our bodies combat the seasonal illness.
As many as 80 people aged 18 to 50 will get paid $3,300 to inhale a nasal spray containing Influenza A, or the common H1N1 strain, which produces mild to moderate symptoms, according to US News & World Report.
They’ll then spend at least a week holed up in a clinic where they’ll be closely monitored with blood samples and nasal and throat swabs to track “initiation, size and duration of various immune system responses and to detect virus shedding,” according to the National Institutes of Health.
Symptoms including fever and muscle aches and weakness will be recorded for a total of two weeks, and volunteers will undergo a 90-day follow-up with more blood and nasal samples.
The study, which began last week and runs until May, when preliminary results are expected, is sponsored by the NIH.
It’s being conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Duke University in North Carolina and the Saint Louis University Center for Vaccine Development in Missouri.
The flu-laced nasal spray has been administered to 400 volunteers in previous studies without “significant safety issues or severe or complicated cases of influenza” occuring, the NIH said.